Searching Apple Notes with Alfred

I recently discovered an excellent Alfred plugin that lets you search and jump to individual Apple Notes (and Apple Notes Folders) from Alfred. For bonus points, it also lets you easily create links to individual notes you can past elsewhere. (Contextual computing FTW!)… This is a post for MacSparky Labs Level 3 (Early Access) and Level 2 (Backstage) Members only. Care to join? Or perhaps do you need to sign in?

The Problem with Fakes

Lately, I’ve been looking at a lot of fakes. Adam Savage did an excellent video comparing actual Apple products with knock-offs that look like Apple products on the outside but very much are not Apple products on the inside. Looking at the fake Apple power supply, I’d be afraid to use it.

On the woodworking side, there is a separate problem where manufacturers are copying innovative products and undercutting the inventors. The copies are often closer to the quality of the originals but rarely equal. (It’s easier without so many electronics involved.) So, consumers are saving a few bucks buying the copies.

As a lawyer, I saw the consequences of these rip-offs. One in particular I recall was a family business that ultimately failed when a foreign competitor copied their product, documentation, and branding and flooded the market at a cut price.

If you don’t have an opinion on knockoffs, you probably should. Setting aside the fact that they can be dangerous, It’s just crushing for a business that spends piles of time and money making an innovative product to have someone copy it as soon as it’s released (often right down to product colors and branding). So I don’t buy copies. If I can’t afford the original, I don’t buy anything. If you’re afraid of unknowingly buying knockoffs, be careful where you buy from. Whenever possible, go directly to the manufacturer.

Mac Power Users 720: The 2023 Developer Roundtable

Stephen and I are joined by David Smith, Malin Sundberg, and Ken Case on this episode of Mac Power Users to talk about developing for Apple’s platforms here in 2023.

This episode of Mac Power Users is sponsored by:

  • 1Password: Never forget a password again.
  • TextExpander: Get 20% off with this link and type more with less effort! Expand short abbreviations into longer bits of text, even fill-ins, with TextExpander.
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Thanks, and a Field Guide Discount

I’m now approaching two years since I threw my law practice shingle into the wood chipper. I could not be happier. David Foster Wallace once started a speech talking about some goldfish.

“Two young fish are asked by an older fish, “How’s the water?” and one young fish turns to the other and says, “what the hell is water?”

In my case, I didn’t realize how stressful the legal practice was until I got out of the water. Your support made that possible. Thank you.

Also, I’m running a short-time discount on all Field Guides. 20% off everything with the code “TURKEY1983”. Newsletter subscribers learned about this a few days ago.

Sam Altman’s Return to OpenAI

It was quite the week over at the OpenAI Office. I’m sure someone will write a book about it at some point. From the outside, it looked like another example of the conflicting priorities that always result when a nonprofit owns a for-profit company. Regardless, those priorities got sorted out this week.

My only other comment on this is the irony that OpenAI is the company making the thing that many fear will replace their jobs. Yet, when push came to shove, OpenAI’s biggest concern was keeping their humans, not their robots.

DEVONthink, The Best Database Solution (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by DEVONthink. There are a lot of ways to manage a database on your Mac, but in my opinion, there is no better tool than DEVONthink. Just a few of the things I use DEVONthink for include:

  • A reliable repository of research documents. DEVONthink will hold as many documents as you can throw at it. In addition, it makes import (and export) easy, so you can have all that power without feeling trapped.
  • A research assistant. DEVONthink uses artificial intelligence to analyze and connect your documents in ways that may not otherwise occur to you. This isn’t that new-fangled-kinda-dumb AI. This is search AI that finds shockingly relevant documents. It’s spooky.
  • An OCR Tool. Everything you store in your DEVONthink Pro library gets OCR’d. It just happens.
  • An Automation Tool. DEVONthink lets you build powerful automation subroutines into your library to help tag, move, and organize documents.
  • DEVONthink supports multiple sync methods and lets you even use your own sync password, so everything is encrypted. If you’ve got an iPad or an iPhone, you can access your DEVONthink data there, too, with DEVONthink To Go.

It never ceases to amaze me how fast DEVONthink search is. Just recently I needed an obscure documents from several years ago sent to me buy a guy whose name I could not remember. DEVONthink found it in my first search as the #1 result. Boom.

It is this combination of power and security that makes DEVONthink the clear winner. You can think of DEVONthink as your paperless office. You can automate your workflow from capture to filing, editing to publishing. It stores all your documents, helps you keep them organized, and presents you with what you need to get the job done.

And of course the DEVONthink team never stops making improvements. The latest update (3.8.7) improves upon Wikilinks, the Concordance inspector, and more.

Interested? MacSparky readers can get a 20% discount on DEVONthink. Use the code MACSPARKY2023 at checkout.